The RCN has welcomed the approval of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at a time when nursing staff are working under intense pressure due to the ongoing pandemic.
Chief Executive & General Secretary Dame Donna Kinnair said: “Now that a second vaccine is available, health and care staff must be considered a priority alongside the clinically vulnerable, so that they may continue to safely care for their patients. This includes not only nursing staff working in care homes and hospitals, but also those working in primary and community care, many of whom will be delivering the vaccine itself.”
The vaccine, which needs only normal refrigeration and is easily transportable, is expected to be rolled out from 4 January. Nursing staff will play a vital part in the vaccine delivery programme.
“Getting the vaccine to all those who need it will be a huge undertaking,” added Dame Donna. “The government must ensure there is enough resource, including funding and clinical staff, to deliver the programme successfully and safely, while maintaining the usual services that patients require.”
The RCN has released guidance on vaccination rollout and how it will affect nursing staff. This covers who should administer the COVID-19 vaccine and whether nursing staff should have the vaccine themselves. You can find information on this, and a full range of other frequently asked questions related to COVID-19, on our advice pages.